Why Auto Injury Compensation Can Improve Recovery
Feelings of injustice after an auto collision can actually worsen recovery, confirms the results of new research published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.
The study showed that patients who believe they have been treated unjustly after an auto injury suffer from worse symptoms a year after the crash compared to patients who do not feel the same sense of injustice.
Earlier research has suggested that a sense of injustice can detrimentally affect patients' prognosis from auto-injuries. In 2008, researchers from McGill University in Canada developed a tool for assessing these perceptions called the Injustice Experience Questionnaire (IEQ).
Now, in this latest study, the same group of Canadian researchers have confirmed that the IEQ can be used as a predictive tool for evaluating the perceptions and prognosis of car accident patients. They discovered that patients with more intense feelings of injustice, indicated by high IEQ scores, were more likely have greater pain intensity a year after the crash. They also had a heavier dependence on narcotic drugs.
This research highlights the important of identifying and targeting feelings of injustice in whiplash patients.
Although some have argued that the compensation process could harm the health of auto injury claimants, recent research calls that argument into question. In another new study analyzing the research on recovery and compensation, researchers determined that there is no clear evidence to support the idea that compensation negatively impacts prognosis in auto-injury patients. Instead, this latest research on the IEQ suggests that compensation could support recovery by reestablishing a sense of justice in patients. These improved perceptions, in conjunction with reduced stress and anxiety and access to adequate medical care, makes fair compensation all the more important for recovery.
Scott W, Trost Z, Milioto M, Sullivan MJ. Further validation of a measure of injury-related injustice perceptions to identify risk for occupational disability: a prospective study of individuals with whiplash injury. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2013. [E-published ahead of print]. doi 10.1007/s10926-013-9417-1.
Sullivan M, et al. The role of perceived injustice in teh experience for chronic pain and disability: scale development and validation. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 2008; doi 10.1007/s10926-008-9140-5.